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Fort Hamilton High School

Grades: 9-12
8301 Shore Road
Brooklyn NY 11209
Phone: 718-748-1537

Our Insights

What’s Special

Large neighborhood school with great music program and broad array of classes and extracurricular activities

The Downside

A large school may be overwhelming for some; very overcrowded

Fort Hamilton High School is a massive neighborhood school located along the edge of New York Harbor. It offers a broad array of classes and extracurricular activities, including more than 60 clubs and dozens of sports teams. The school mainly admits students who live in its zone, though there are a few small arts programs and an honors academy that attract kids from across Brooklyn.

What’s nice about Fort Hamilton is that kids don’t have to specialize from the outset. Zoned students may participate in the school’s extensive music program, which includes three choirs, three concert bands, two orchestras, and both a jazz and marching band. While a newly minted drama program offers an intensive course of study for its enrolled students, there are theater classes and school performances open to all. Business classes are a popular draw and include options such as computer applications, entrepreneurship, accounting and Virtual Enterprise, where students create and operate all facets of a mock business.

Incoming freshmen with strong grades, including those admitted to one of the arts programs, are placed in honors classes even if they didn’t apply to the Honors Academy. Upperclassmen with strong grades or who are looking for a challenge are encouraged to take honors and Advanced Placement classes. Students may study French, Spanish, Greek or Italian.

With a student population that exceeds 4,500, Fort Hamilton is one of the largest high schools in the city. To handle the crowds, classes start as early as 7:20 a.m. and spread over 10 periods. Despite its size and overcrowding, the school does not seem hectic. Hallways are packed during changes of classes but are otherwise quiet and clear of students. Even the cafeteria, which holds more than 700 students and stretches the length of a city block, was not overly noisy during lunchtime.

In academic classes we visited, we saw a range of teaching styles, though teachers across the school are devoting more time in lessons to student discussion and reflection.

Kaye Houlihan became principal of Fort Hamilton in 2012 after working at two other large schools with strong arts program. She was an assistant principal at LaGuardia High School and taught English at Edward R. Murrow High School.

To accommodate the many students still learning English, there are subject classes such as history, science and math taught in Spanish, Arabic and Chinese (options vary by language).

The student council campaigned hard to secure funding from Brooklyn officials to get the school’s field, track and scoreboard replaced. Renovations are slated to be finished in 2019.

There is a dedicated college office where students can drop in to speak with the counselor or do research at a bank of computers. The school’s college-readiness rate is strong, and many students graduate with an Advanced Regents Diploma. Graduates attend a broad range of schools, including CUNY, SUNY and private colleges, and job training programs.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There is a full range of services and class settings, including self-contained and ICT (Integrated Collaborative Teaching) classes. There is also a five-year program for students with special needs, who complete the coursework for a diploma and gain work experience at the nearby Veterans Administration hospital.

ADMISSIONS:  Admission to the Honors Academy is based on a review of students’ academic records. Students must audition for the Joffrey Ballet Dance, vocal music, instrumental music and dramatic arts academies. (Laura Zingmond, March 2018)

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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
86% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
80% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
76% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
82% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
48% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
41% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
67% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2019-20 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
38% Citywide Average

From 2020 School Directories

This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Arabic, Chinese and Spanish.

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
66% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
68% Citywide Average

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

Honors Academy
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description:

A four-year academic program offering courses in humanities, mathematics, and science courses that culminate in AP coursework. Students that complete the Honors Academy coursework are eligible for the Advanced Regents Diploma with Honors distinction.

Joffrey Ballet Dance Academy
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description:

Students will be trained in the Joffrey Ballet School's technique in classical ballet, contemporary dance, jazz, improvisation, dance history, dance composition, and pointe. Students eligible for Honors and AP classes will be programmed accordingly.

Instrumental Music
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description:

In addition to studying the required music courses, students will develop their ability to perform on a musical instrument and enhance solo and ensemble techniques.

Vocal Music
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description:

In addition to studying the required music courses, students will develop their vocal techniques and enhance solo and ensemble techniques.

Dramatic Arts Academy
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description:

A sequential course of study focusing on acting, scene study, dramatic literature, playwriting, and performance. Students will have an opportunity to perform in musicals and dramatic plays.

Admissions Method: Zoned Guarantee
Program Description:

Comprehensive academic program.


Language Courses

French, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP Psychology, AP Environmental Science, AP Drawing, AP Calculus BC, AP Physics 1, AP Statistics, AP Chemistry, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Chinese Language and Culture, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP Calculus AB, AP English Language and Composition, AP Human Geography, AP United States History, AP English Literature and Composition, AP World History: Modern


Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Football, Handball, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Flag Football, Golf, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams


Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools
NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


Bay Ridge (District 20)
Trains: N/A
Buses: B16, B37, B4, B63, X27, X37


Kaye Houlihan
Parent Coordinator
Nancy Makkar

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?

Zone for the 2019-2020 school year. Call school to confirm.

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